Geospatial tools for assessing land degradation in Budgam district, Kashmir Himalaya, India

Mehnaz Rashid, M.A. Lone, S.A. Romshoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Land degradation reduces the ability of the land to perform many biophysical and chemical functions. The main aim of this study was to determine the status of land degradation in the Budgam area of Kashmir Himalaya using remote sensing and geographic information system. The satellite data together with other geospatial datasets were used to quantify different categories of land degradation. The results were validated in the field and an accuracy of 85% was observed. Land use/land cover of the study area was determined in order to know the effect of land use on the rate of land degradation. Normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) and slope of the area were determined using LANDSAT-enhanced thematic mapper plus (ETM+) data, advanced space borne thermal emission and reflection radiometer, and digital elevation model along with other secondary data were analysed to create various thematic maps, viz., land use/land cover, geology, NDVI and slopes used in modelling land degradation in the Kashmir Himalayan region. The vegetation condition, elevation and land use/land cover information of the area were integrated to assess the land degradation scenario in the area using the ArcGIS ‘Spatial Analyst Module’. The results reveal that about 13.19% of the study area has undergone moderate to high degradation, whereas about 44.12% of the area has undergone slight degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number423
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Earth System Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


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